Coexisting Diabetes and CVD Risk Factors Associated With Lower Health-Related QoL

retired couple walking on beach
retired couple walking on beach
Cardiovascular disease and risk factors that may affect the quality of life in patients with or without diabetes are analyzed.

Patients with diabetes who have cardiovascular disease (CVD) or established CVD risk factors experience a lower quality of life compared with individuals without diabetes, according to findings from a health survey published in PLoS One.

The Spanish National Health Survey was used to collect data on individuals living with diabetes (n=1905) and without diabetes (n=19,031) during 2011 to 2012. Health-related quality of life (HRQoL) was assessed by the EuroQol 5D-5L. Patients with and without diabetes were compared in relation to their personal care, mobility, daily activities, anxiety/depression, and pain/discomfort.

Approximately 63.6% of patients with diabetes had cardiovascular risk factors at baseline, and 24.5% reported a previous cardiovascular event. Comparatively, 36.9% of patients without diabetes had a cardiovascular risk factor and 8.5% had reported a prior cardiovascular episode. Among patients with and without diabetes but no CVD or CVD risk factors, no significant differences in time trade-off scores were observed.

Compared with nondiabetic patients, patients with diabetes and any cardiovascular risk factor reported lower HRQoL. Patients with diabetes achieved 0.781 total points in the time trade-off score vs 0.921 points among patients without diabetes, indicating lower HRQoL among those with diabetes. In addition, patients with diabetes who had any CVD risk factor had a 0.046-point lower HRQoL score than control patients. Patients with diabetes with established CVD also had a HRQoL score that was 0.1412 points lower than nondiabetic patients.

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A longitudinal study may have been more appropriate for this analysis, given that HRQoL tends to demonstrate greater differences over time. Also, this study included primarily Spanish patients, which presents issues with generalizability.

The findings from this study may be valuable “for the design, implementation, and evaluation of preventive policies and therapeutic programs focused on reducing the incidence and prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors, mainly obesity, and cardiovascular diseases, which reduce quality of life the most.”


Peña-Longobardo LM, Rodríguez-Sánchez B, Mata-Cases M, et al. Is quality of life different between diabetic and non-diabetic people? The importance of cardiovascular risks. PLoS One. 2017;12(12):e0189505